Peggy Charren, a fierce activist for improving the quality of children's TV shows, dies at 86

Associated Press

The founder of Action for Children's Television who waged a decades-long fight to improve the quality of children's programming has died. Peggy Charren was 86.

Sugarman-Sinai Memorial Chapel in Providence, Rhode Island, said in an obituary posted on its website that Charren died Thursday. She had vascular dementia.

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Frustrated by the quality of programming available to her daughters, Charren founded Action for Children's Television in 1968.

The grassroots organization grew to thousands of members, working with the Federal Communications Commission to establish a children's television division, and lobbying the National Association of Broadcasters to adopt voluntary guidelines for children's programming.

ACT lobbied Congress, helping get the Children's Television Act passed in 1990. The act established programming standards, including advertising limits.

Longtime friend U.S. Sen. Edward Markey tells The Boston Globe that Charren was "a conscience sitting on the shoulder of every commercial broadcaster."